Brianna goes off to college, and mom gets empty-nest syndrome.

Joanna ships her only child off to college

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By the time you sit down, grab a cup and open up to the opinion page to read this week’s Not for Nuthin’, I’ll be in the co-pilot seat of our rented mini-van, with Bob in the pilot seat and Bri happily plugged into her iPhone in the back with pillow, blanket, and all her “stuff” on our way up to Albany U.

Moving day has arrived.

Yes siree, Bob, moving day. My soon-to-be sophomore daughter is embarking on her adventure as a dorm student away from home for the first time in her life.

No more curfews, no more nagging to get to bed, no more nagging to get up in the morning.

How will she ever survive? I shudder to imagine. More importantly, though, is how will I ever survive?

In a column long ago I tackled the issue with my BFF Donna when her eldest child Janine moved out on her own. It began with:

“From the minute we give birth to our children, we plan, we prepare, and we preach — the three Ps of parenting. While still in the recovery room and not quite out of anaesthesia, I held my daughter for the first time and began the three Ps: What she would wear for her baptism, what type of cake I’d make for her first birthday, preparation for her first day of school and where she would go to college .

Like momma birds, we train our little ones to spread their wings to lift off and soar into the bright blue sky. We prepare them every day for that day when they will leave the nest and start the cycle anew. In between we clean up their rooms, dry their tears, change their diapers, wash their clothes, and carpool them halfway around the world. With joy we prepare and with joy we look forward to their first flight. But it is with tears and trepidation that we let go and watch from our perch nervously waiting for their successful landing.

And never, ever do we think beyond the day they go.”

But now the day is here. I have waited for a long time for it to come. Our house will be quiet again, I think. There will be no more late-night pick-ups, no more late-night pit-stops at the Wendy’s for an order of five-piece chicken nuggets and large fries, no more curfews, no more nagging.

Yes, it’s here, and I will have all the free time in the world to do what I want to do.

Unfortunately, the big problem is that I just don’t know exactly what the heck that is and what will I do with all that quiet.

Not for Nuthin,™ the only thing I know for certain is that, as I leave her with her all her stuff in her new dorm with new friends, and her new life, that I have prepared her well for flight, and the only thing left for me to do is hope for a successful landing.

Follow Not for Nuthin’ on Twitter @jdelbuono

Joanna DelBuono writes about national issues — and the homefront — every Wednesday on
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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